What happens when municipal fiscal woes, the war on terrorism, and the recession collide in fly-over country?
Hardin, Montana, and Manistique, Michigan, have two problems in common: not enough jobs and a prison sitting empty nearby. Enter Obama. The President's (imperiled) plan to close the detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, before January of next year presented a potential solution. All those detainees needed a new home, so a few enterprising souls in Hardin and Manistique hatched an idea: Move the detainees into their prisons. The ailing towns would get jobs and a substantial chunk of revenue from the federal government, the expensive prisons would get put to use, and Harry Reid would no longer be forced to release every captured member of Al Qaeda directly into your neighborhood.
Sounds like a decent plan, until you ask some local politicians. First, Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) on the Hardin proposal:
There is opposition to the Gitmo resettlement plan. Some locals have complained bitterly and other politicians in Montana have expressed deep reservations. "We're not going to bring al-Qaida to Big Sky country. No way. Not on my watch," a local senator, Max Baucus, told Time magazine.
Next, Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI/Twitter) says that moving the detainees to Michigan is a "really bad idea." Other local pols echo his concern, including Michigan's Secretary of State and Attorney General.
In fairness, these politicians sound no dumber than some of the decidedly anti-terrorists-in-my-backyard citizens who were asked to comment. Check Manistique resident David Vaughn's measured reaction (in the same article as Hoekstra):
"I think it is an ill-conceived idea. Why would we want to bring more terrorists into our country? Who's to say the relatives of these people wouldn't come over?"